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This conference aims to reflect with legal scholars and practitioners on the reconceptualisation of the role of civil courts in today’s European private legal order. Specifically, the conference’s focus lies on the courts’ potential to open up space in the deliberative process on concepts of justice in European private law.

Proposals addressing the following issues and themes are particularly welcome, as are interdisciplinary, theoretical and case-study based approaches:

- the impact of fundamental rights on European private law and civil procedure;
- the way(s) in which judges may deal with different conceptions of justice at EU and national level;
- the legitimacy of judicial law-making in European private law;
- the contribution of private law adjudication to polity-building in Europe

The call for papers is open for young scholars, who are currently PhD researchers or who are postdoctoral researchers and have defended their PhD after 1 January 2016. Proposals in form of an extended abstract (max. 500 words) should be submitted for review by 15 February 2019 to Betül Kas: Submissions will be selected based on quality, originality, and their capacity to incite fruitful debates. Decisions on accepted submissions will be made by 1 April 2019

Authors whose contributions are accepted will be invited to present their paper at the conference and will be expected to submit their paper beforehand. Final papers will be circulated among the participants in advance of the conference. The organisers aim to publish some or all conference proceedings in an edited volume with a reputable publisher or a special issue of a European law journal.

More information on the conference and the ‘Judges in Utopia’ project can be found at

The project team:
Prof.dr. Chantal Mak
Dr. Betül Kas LL.M.
Anna van Duin LL.M. MJur (Oxon)
Laura Burgers LL.M. BA
Fien de Ruiter BA